Cover of Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy
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1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Scott Aikin, Orcid-ID Lucy Alsip Vollbrecht Orcid-ID

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Diogenes’s exchange with Cicermos the Olympic pankratist is unusual in that it is both a dialectical exchange and is successful in changing Cicermos’s mind. Most Cynic rhetoric is physical or gestural and more often alienates than convinces. The puzzling difference is explained by the rhetorical choices Diogenes makes with his uniquely receptive audience.
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2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Anna Cremaldi Orcid-ID

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Aristotle claims that the virtuous motive in benefitting others is altruistic. But he also claims in Nicomachean Ethics 9.7 that benefaction is an expression of self-love. This essay examines the account of benefaction with an eye to resolving the tension between these claims. By drawing out Aristotle’s comparison between reproduction and benefaction, I show that Aristotle conceives of self-love principally in terms of activities whose causal effects redound not only to the beneficiary but also to the benefactor. With this understanding of self-love, we better understand the relationship between self-love and benefaction and between self-love and friendship.
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3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Andrew Burnside Orcid-ID

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St. John of the Cross was aware of the fact that his mysticism resisted prosaic, discursive representation; however, most contemporary scholars have overlooked this radical component of his work. First, I trace the major philosophical influences on John’s work: Medieval Neoplatonism and Scholasticism (especially Pseudo-Dionysius and St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as Ibn Arabi and possibly Averroes). Second, by drawing on the Barthesian-Foucauldian concept of the author function, I demonstrate that the Mystical Doctor saw his poetry as free-standing, inexhaustible by even his own efforts to systematize key aspects of his poetry—an insurmountable task, which he had to be compelled to compile and publish by the nuns he guided in spiritual direction.
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4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Cecilia Sjöholm Orcid-ID

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In times of climate change and unpredictable variations in weather conditions, not least in the climate of the North, Descartes’s treatise on Meteorology, published with Discourse on Method in 1637, has gained new relevance. He presents us with the kind of transformations that a Northern climate in particular materializes: weather consisting of small particles changing in shape and movement, intertwining, interfering and reorganising. This article argues that the Cartesian “figures” of the essay can be seen as philosophical thought-images of a preconceptual dimension of experience that abstract language fails to seize. In this way, they point to a dimension in Descartes’s philosophy that has been little commented upon, a tool of aesthetic approximation that lies between the res extensa and the res cogitans, a philosophical methodology using images explicitly appreciated by Descartes. The article links the use of images to the epistemological concept of “figure”, used to describe phenomena of the atmosphere that may be described as rhythmic. Here the analysis takes recourse to Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of figural extension.
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5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Naomi Fisher, Jeffrey J. Fisher

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Schelling’s 1794 commentary on the Timaeus makes extensive use of Plato’s Philebus, particularly the principles of limit and unlimited. In this article, we demonstrate the resonances between Schelling’s 1794 treatment of the metaphysics of the Philebus and his 1798 philosophy of nature. Attention to these resonances demonstrates an underexplored but important debt to Plato in Schelling’s philosophy of nature. In particular, Schelling is indebted to Plato’s late metaphysics in his model of the iterative combination of two basic principles: a productive, positive principle, akin to Plato’s unlimited, and a limiting, negative principle, akin to Plato’s limit. In Schelling’s philosophy of nature, the iterative interaction of these principles both provides a common ground for and accounts for the differences between inorganic and organic nature.
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6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Daniela Vallega-Neu

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This article juxtaposes Derrida’s last seminar, The Beast and the Sovereign (volume 2) with Heidegger’s The Event (from 1940/41) in order to question Derrida’s reading of the notion of Walten in Heidegger’s texts in relation to the themes of sov­ereignty and death. It draws out different senses of Walten depending on whether Heidegger thinks Greek φύσις or the other beginning and it points out the importance of constancy for the notion of Walten. In each case Walten shatters in relation to death or to the notions of the “beingless” and “expropriation” that Heidegger introduces at the beginning of the 40s. At the same time, there emerges a strange proximity between an originary differencing Heidegger thinks in relation to the notions of “the beingless” and “expropriation” on the one hand, and Derrida’s notion of différance on the other hand (an originary differencing that, in Derrida’s reading of Heidegger, institutes a “sovereignty of last instance”) as well as a strange proximity in the circular character of both Heidegger’s and Derrida’s writings that has to do with how death informs their writing.
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7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Giancarlo Tarantino Orcid-ID

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Gadamer’s retrieval of phronēsis lies at the heart of his philosophical hermeneutics. This paper argues that this retrieval requires a co-retrieval of what Aristotle referred to as character virtue, and that Gadamer’s work largely neglects this. In part one, I review Aristotle’s analysis of the relationship between phronēsis and character virtue. In part two, I show how Gadamer’s double insistence on the importance of phronēsis for his hermeneutics and on taking responsibility for concepts generates the requirement of a co-retrieval of character virtues and vices. Following this, I then survey four ambiguous tendencies in Gadamer’s work that seem to militate against such a retrieval. I conclude with some remarks for future work.
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8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
John V. James

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Following Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer states that the primordial way we experience the past is through forgetting rather than memory. This essay seeks to explore the various senses of forgetting as it appears in Gadamer’s thought with a particular emphasis on how forgetting and memory structure the unique temporality of the work of art. This exploration reveals that the interplay between forgetting and remembering is more complicated than mere opposition; this interplay is specifically revealed in Gadamer’s analyses of the epochal transition and the transmissive event of history. In both cases, forgetting is revealed not as a lack or lacuna, but as a dynamic generating structure that elevates the work of art from its original past—constituting the immemorial dimension of the work. This essay concludes by gesturing toward the repercussions of forgetting on subjectivity and a theory of time in Gadamer’s hermeneutics.
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9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Bryan Lueck Orcid-ID

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According to Stephen Darwall, being with others involves an implicit, second-personal respect for them. I argue that this is correct as far as it goes. Calling on Jean-Luc Nancy’s more ontological account of being-with, though, I also argue that Darwall’s account overlooks something morally very important: right at the heart of the being-with that gives us to ourselves as answerable to others on the basis of determinate, contractualist moral principles, we encounter an irreducible excess of sense that renders those principles questionable. Following Nancy, I characterize this exposure to excess as adoration and develop some of its moral implications.
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